Album of the Week – ‘Far Rockaway: The songs of Phil Ochs by Phil Odgers & John Kettle’

Written by on June 15, 2024


This is a glorious album that pays tribute to the artistry of Phil Ochs, hailed as a major singer-songwriter throughout the 60s and into the 70s.

He was a contemporary of Bob Dylan, influenced by the likes of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, and was viewed as an influential protest singer – though he preferred the term ‘topical.’

Ochs took his own life, aged 35, in 1976 and this eleven-track record is respectfully dedicated to his memory, and the lasting impact he had on music, politics and people.

The songs selected particularly resonated with Phil ‘Swill’ Odgers, who delivers vocals, guitar, harmonica and melodica and is joined by John Kettle on guitar, bass, bouzouki and Phil Jones on double bass.

Odgers said: “It’s a mixture of politically themed, for which Phil was best known and most remembered, plus some of his more personal, introspective songs, ones for which he is perhaps, less widely known.

“Sadly, 50 years on and more, the political songs are as relevant today as when they were written.”

The album cover emulates the iconography of Ochs’ first LP ‘All The News That’s Fit to Sing’.

Phil Odgers will be in conversation with Hugh Taylor today on the Album of the Week Show that gets under way at midday.


• Album of the Week Show – ‘Far Rockaway: The songs of Phil Ochs’ – Hugh Taylor with guest, singer-songwriter, Phil Odgers – 12 to 1 pm.


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